Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Afraid to Die

Taxes come daily, monthly, and yearly, but death only comes once in our lifetime. It comes in all forms - war, murder, suicide, disease - and at all times from infancy to old age. There is a corollary to death: fear. All phobias are subsets of that great fear, the fear of death.

Over forty years ago when we lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I got a long letter from a friend. She had been asked to visit a dying woman in a hospital. She was leaving town and could not do it, so she passed the buck to me.

The woman was 25 years old. She had very high blood pressure and no kidneys. She was on dialysis in an osteopathic hospital near Detroit. Her husband had divorced her because of her illness.

I found the hospital, went to her room, and told her who I was. The first thing she said was, “I am going to die.”

I replied, “Are you afraid to die?”

“Yes.”

“I will tell you how not to be afraid to die.” I read her Hebrews 2:14-15. “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

That is why Jesus died. I told her more of the good news. She received Christ. I visited her several times over the next few weeks before she died. I would lean over her bed and sing to her, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” She was not afraid to die.

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